De Blasio Vows to Crackdown on Halloween Parties as NYC Sees Uptick in COVID-19 Cases

De Blasio Vows to Crackdown on Halloween Parties as NYC Sees Uptick in COVID-19 Cases
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during an appearance in New York City, on May 4, 2020. (Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
Bill Pan

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that New York City has seen a concerning growth in the numbers of CCP virus infections and that the city would break up large gatherings this Halloween.

During his daily press briefing, de Blasio reported a citywide COVID-19 positive test rate of 2.7 percent, with a rolling seven-day average of positive test rate of 1.92 percent. The Democratic mayor said last month that if the seven-day average reaches 2 percent, the city might have to reevaluate whether to allow indoor dining at restaurants.

"This is the first time that number has taken a meaningful jump to 1.92 percent," de Blasio said. "That alone is not a number that would overwhelm us, but the growth is what worries me and we cannot allow that number to keep growing. We must be really strong at this moment."

De Blasio moved on to urge New Yorkers to avoid holiday traveling, saying that it is highly possible that returning travelers bring the CCP virus back to the city from other parts of the country. He also pledged to crackdown on big Halloween parties.

"We cannot have big gatherings, we cannot have big indoor events," he said. "If people want to trick-or-treat outdoors [in] small groups with masks on, that's great. Big gatherings, parties—that's not great at all."

"If we find out about them, we're going to have to break them up, because it's dangerous. We gotta buckle down," he continued.

Last week, de Blasio recommended that New Yorkers who wish to celebrate Halloween do it differently in order to "keep children safe."

"Most important thing we have learned throughout this whole crisis: outdoors is better than indoors. So with trick-or-treating, it should all be outdoors, only outdoors. No trick-or-treating inside apartment buildings, for example. Do everything outdoors," he said, adding that candy should be put in a bin instead of being handed out.

New York City's crackdown on gatherings has caused a backlash over the past months, particularly from Orthodox Jews in so-called "red zone" areas, where CCP virus infection rates are high. Earlier this month, the crackdown on religious gatherings prompted some massive, sometimes intense demonstrations in Brooklyn, home to a large Orthodox Jewish population.

Amid the unrest, President Donald Trump shared a Twitter post calling de Blasio "an anti-Semite thug," and appeared to compare the de Blasio administration to historical anti-Semitic regimes.

"Wow, what does this grim picture remind you of?" Trump wrote, with a link to an article suggesting that Brooklyn Jews face religious persecution similar to what European Jews had undergone during World War II. "I am the only thing in the Radical Left’s way!"